Charity takes wing at paper airplane toss

MARIETTA – Paper airplanes of various sizes and shapes competed during Sunday’s annual Great Community Paper Airplane Contest at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Marietta.

Seven-year-old Lexi Brown, of Marietta, tossed her sleek paper plane from the church balcony out over the sanctuary where the aircraft sailed to victory in the longest-flight contest.

“She watched me make one, then copied the design to make her own plane,” said Lexi’s dad, Chris Brown.

Bailey Nesselroad, 11, from Beverly, also designed a winning plane.

“I’ve been working on it for about a week,” he said, noting this was his first official paper airplane contest.

The event has been a tradition at the church for more than 25 years, according to organizer Todd Frasher of Devola.

“It’s just a great tradition that brings a lot of kids together to have a good time,” he said. “It’s always open to the community, and everyone goes home with a prize.”

The entrance fee was donation of a can of food, and 32 people, young and old alike, took part in this year’s event.

“All proceeds and donations go to the local community food pantry,” Frasher said.

Pastor Kat Hawbaker said the event brings people together to have some fun and benefits a good cause.

“We really appreciate so many people coming out to participate every year,” she said. “It’s a good time that everyone can come and enjoy in this beautiful historic church.”

The Unitarian Society in Marietta was founded in February 1855 by Nahum Ward who funded construction of the city’s First Unitarian Universalist Church that was completed in 1857. The facility cost $25,000 to build, and Ward later sold it to the congregation for $1.

The church continues to house services from its original location at 232 Third St. in Marietta.